Light green flask - ROM2010_11646_7

ROM2010_11646_7

Light green flask

Medium:Blown glass
Geography: Syria-Palestine
Date: about 100-225 AD
Period: Roman Imperial period
Dimensions:
12.7 x 13.1 cm
Object number: 950.157.57
Credit Line: Gift of Miss Helen Norton
On view
Gallery Location:Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Gallery of Rome and the Near East
Description

The iridescent surface of ancient glass is the result of decay. Humidity fluctuations and acidic soil conditions cause a gradual eating-away of the surface as the glass breaks down into its natural components. A refractive film of decay builds up, producing the rainbow colours.

Glassware was one of the primary industries in Syria-Palestine from about 200 BC onward. Thousands of specimens of Syro-Palestinian glass survive: it was a common grave-offering in the rock-cut tombs of the region - until the 5th century AD, when the spread of Christianity changed the local burial practices. Most Roman glass-making techniques likely originated in greater Syria (modern Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, and the Hatay Province of Turkey - referred to by the geographical term Syria-Palestine since Roman times) being transmitted elsewhere by artisans from this region.


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